BC Ideas Exchange Story Library

Economic development success stories

Are you looking for economic development ideas and inspiration for your community? The BC Ideas Exchange showcases B.C. communities and their innovative approaches to economic development.

The best economic development practices are usually developed through community experience, lessons learned and innovation. B.C. communities, even on small budgets, are finding innovative ways to initiate and promote economic development in their communities.

The BC Ideas Exchange is a space for communities to share success stories and how they've addressed economic development challenges, and to discuss lessons learned and best practices.

Explore success stories by category and connect with communities:

Communities throughout B.C. are improving their skills, knowledge, tools and other resources to reach their economic goals. This section features stories to help you boost your community’s ability to develop strategies and plans, measure results, initiate and maintain collaboration, and access funding.

How the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw are Determining their Economic Future – Tsulquate

Leveraging Co-operation and Business Investment to Power Economic Development – Cranbrook & Kimberley

Multi-Channel Ad Campaign Uses Data Insights to Attract New Residents and Businesses – Lower Columbia Region

Building on a Community's Assets to Create an Economic Development Strategy – Cormorant Island

Grassroots Economic Development Benefits Island Municipality – Bowen Island

​Community Economic Development is an inclusive process improving outcomes for the whole community, and equity-seeking groups in particular. In this section, you can learn about community-owned initiatives that are stabilizing local economies, creating long-term employment, and delivering positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes.

Growing Economic Opportunity Through Native Plant Restoration – Moberly Lake

Protecting Haida Values through Sustainable Forestry – Haida Gwaii

Bringing a Local Harvest to an International Market – Klemtu

Regional Partnership Creates Value-Added Food Products and Local Jobs – Creston Valley

Transforming a Mining Town into a Solar Energy Destination – Kimberley

Community Collaboration Brings Back Health Care – Scotch Creek

Creating Jobs and New Revenue Streams with a Community Forest License – Barriere

Protecting an Old-Growth Ecoforest through Community Organization – Vancouver Island

Land use planning and developing community assets like recreation facilities or transportation networks can create or enhance the economic opportunities for a community. In this section, discover inspiring examples of development throughout B.C. and find out about resources to support land and amenity development.

Attracting Development of Brownfield Sites through a Multi-Faceted Strategy – Langley City

Creating Opportunity for Small Business through Zoning and Permitting – Port Moody

Targeted Revitalization through Economic Investment Zones – Penticton

Landowners and Volunteers Work Together to Manage Community Trail Network  – Cumberland

Government-to-Government Partnerships Create Industrial Development, Tax Revenue, and Jobs – Terrace

Students' Study of Local Airport Leads to New Land Development Potential – Township of Langley

Community-Led Park Development Project Creates Jobs and Attracts Visitors to Elk Falls – Campbell River

Indigenous organizations are advancing the economic self-determination and success of Indigenous people throughout B.C. with a range of strategies. In this section, you can see how First Nations and Indigenous communities are moving forward through ingenuity and collaboration.

Growing Economic Opportunity Through Native Plant Restoration – Moberly Lake

How the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw are Determining their Economic Future – Tsulquate

Boosting Businesses through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Program – Throughout B.C.

Protecting Haida Values through Sustainable Forestry – Haida Gwaii

Bringing a Local Harvest to an International Market – Klemtu

Start-up Program Helps Entrepreneurs Take their Ideas to the Next Level – Westbank First Nation

Government-to-Government Partnerships Create Industrial Development, Tax Revenue, and Jobs – Terrace

Building on a Community's Assets to Create an Economic Development Strategy – Cormorant Island

Local economic development calls for savvy promotion through investment attraction, tourism marketing, and resident attraction and retention. In this section, you can learn from other communities and enhance your own toolkit for promoting your community for economic development.

Selling a Small-Town Lifestyle to Attract Entrepreneurs and Investment – Powell River

Attracting Young Urban Creatives to Small Town B.C.  – Kaslo

“Island Good” Makes It Easy for Islanders to Shop Local – Vancouver Island 

Social Media Buzz Leads to Greater Community Awareness and Engagement – Kamloops

Business Attraction Video Highlights Local Value Proposition and Draws Investors – Township of Langley

Cross-Sector Partnership Builds a New Info Centre that Attracts Visitors and Investors Alike – Revelstoke

Attracting Key Forestry Investors with Targeted Promotional Materials – District of Stewart

A vital and robust local economy needs a dynamic and growing business sector. In this section, you can see examples and learn more about supporting existing businesses to improve conditions for success, while growing the next generation of businesses through entrepreneurship.

How a Chamber of Commerce Pivoted Toward Economic Development – Ucluelet

Boosting Businesses through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Program – Throughout B.C.

Start-up Program Helps Entrepreneurs Take their Ideas to the Next Level – Westbank First Nation

Agri-Tourism Program Gives Farmers Access to New Revenue Streams – Central Okanagan

Business Walks Open Dialogue Between Local Stakeholders – Abbotsford

Venture Kamloops Advisor Program Prepares Entrepreneurs with a Mini "Dragon's Den" – Kamloops

Technology as an industry sector is growing in B.C., while innovative uses of technology are invigorating existing industries to support economic sustainability. This section looks at how technology and innovation are transforming local economies and supporting community well-being.

A Winning Municipal Tech Strategy: From Broadband to International Recognition as a Smart Community – Nelson

Diversifying the Local Economy Starting with a Municipally-Owned Broadband Network – Campbell River

Building a Tech Strategy with a Committed Local Task Force – Revelstoke

Metal Tech Alley: How an Industry Town in Rural B.C. Rebuilt its Economy – Trail

Communities throughout B.C. are using a wide range of strategies to help companies meet their workforce needs. In this section, see how Industry and education partnerships, skills development, immigration programs, and increasing access to jobs for workers who face barriers are developing B.C.’s workforce.

How Go-Karts Improve Education Outcomes and Build Community – Tumbler Ridge

Workforce Development Partnership Reaching New Heights – Kelowna

Building a Competitive Local Film Industry through Workforce Training – North Central Vancouver Island

Growing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs in Rural B.C. – Nechako Lakes

The Whistler Experience Optimizes Training for World-Class Customer Service – Whistler

Investing in Personalized Health Professional Attraction Pays Off – Quesnel

Attracting Digital Talent From Across Canada with the "Make It Here" Campaign – Kelowna